August 3, 2022

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Entrepreneurial trainees gather to network, discuss tech commercialization


The heat of the first day of August did not stop entrepreneurial trainees – students participating in various fellowship programs at local universities – from gathering at Namu’s outdoor garden for an evening of good food and even better discussion.

Many were science graduate students and current or prospective participants in the Duke OTC Fellows program or the UNC Venture Catalyst program. OTC Fellows help evaluate and market early stage technologies invented at Duke while Venture Catalyst Fellows help UNC-affiliated startups with their business development efforts. Also in attendance were representatives of the Nucleate RTP, our local branch of a nationwide student-run entrepreneurship program that facilitates the formation of pioneering life science ventures.

All these future entrepreneurial leaders are starting their journeys with training and hands-on experience in the technology commercialization space, but sometimes that work can feel siloed. Getting together within and between programs and universities allows these trainees to share best practices, discuss their successes and challenges, plot future career moves and partnerships, and have the chance to learn more from program staff in attendance. Developing a network of peers and stakeholders from the bustling entrepreneurial ecosystem sets trainees up for success in the world of startups, tech transfer, consulting, venture capital, and beyond.

The trainees come from various fields – from engineering to pharmacology, computer science to immunology, and much more – yet once everyone assembled, the barriers melted away and conversations lasted for hours. Folks left energized and excited to keep the momentum going. We plan to have more events for Triangle entrepreneurial trainees in the future… and hopefully from more institutions beyond Duke and UNC!

If you’re interested in participating in future events like this, please reach out to Fedor Kossakovski at Duke OTC: fdk@duke.edu.

To learn more about student opportunities and resources from these two universities, go to the Duke OTC Student page and the Innovate Carolina Student page.

Student opportunities at Duke OTC